Chris Kamara opens up about new Apraxia speech documentary and says he's 'too weak' to carry shopping

Virgin Radio

13 Dec 2022, 16:05

Chris Kamara

Credit: Getty

Footballing favourite Chris Kamara has spoken about his Apraxia speech diagnosis and how his 'slurring' made people question if he was intoxicated.

Appearing on This Morning with Ben Shephard to discuss his new ITV documentary Chris Kamara: Lost For Words, the star explained: "It was in 2019 but I told no one, you know when something isn't quite right. I knew if I spoke in long sentences, I couldn't get the words out. I thought I'm going to wake up one day and it'll all be gone.

"I went to see the doctor in 2020 and they done tests and it was an underactive thyroid. It cured my thyroid but the delay of not seeing the doctor sooner caused issues. 

"Then the speech issue came along which could have been the thyroid, but we don't know.

"We take for granted when we speak it's natural but the messages from the brain to mouth gets confused and the words either come out slow, wrong or not at all. 

"My voice was my life so that was hard, that's why I kept it quiet. I continued doing programmes, but people were asking if I was drunk because I slurred my word and was speaking slow."

Chris Kamara on This Morning

Credit: ITV

Ben added: "It became a bigger thing, it helped initially. His kids said we just thought he was tired.

"Eventually he got the diagnosis, and we asked if he was willing to share that on the programme. Chris doesn't want to feel like a victim."

Chris told viewers: "Thanks to Ben, my agent was approached by three or four production companies on my apraxia of speech, Ben said why not come out and talk. But I decided to raise awareness. It's been incredible the support in the industry."

He revealed: "The part of my brain that's packed in affects my muscles. I'm so weak now. Coordination is not very good. Balance is not very good.

"Everybody talks about the speech side of it, but there's also other factors to go with it. I can't carry shopping."

The Sky Sports News star said: "Sometimes I think, it's fine today, no problem. Then I go downstairs and talk to Anne and the message from the brain to the mouth won't come out right. So it would be another day of anguish, thinking what should I do? Should I go to work today, or should I not?'

Chris Kamara in new documentary

Credit: ITV

"I'm in a lot better place now than I was. I didn't accept what was going on in my body. It's a long process. It's going the right way.

"I will continue now because I know while I'm out there and what I'm doing will be helping someone with a speech condition think, 'If he can do it, I can do it.''

Speaking about the upcoming candid documentary, Chris said: "This documentary is a very personal one for me. I am really keen to raise awareness about Apraxia of Speech/Dyspraxia. Little is known about it which makes the diagnosis so much harder to navigate. 

"Hopefully by sharing my story it will raise awareness and also help people who may also be living with this condition by showing them that there are ways to manage it and to still live a fulfilling life."

Chris Kamara: Lost for Words is on ITV1  tonight (Tuesday, December 13 at 9pm)